Wiggle Wire vs. Poly Lock

wiggle wire
Wiggle Wire Photo Source

You purchased your greenhouse and finally decided on what cover to get, but how do you plan to secure it? Before purchasing the cheapest option be sure read this comparison of Wiggle Wire vs. Poly Lock.

Wiggle Wire (WW) is the most common fastener on the market for securing a greenhouse cover. It is a simple, inexpensive way to secure Poly Film and shade cloth coverings to a structure. It is a steel wire that is used in combination with an aluminum channel to secure the material in place. For installation, you simply screw the aluminum channel to the base of your structure and then literally wiggle the wire into the channel as demonstrated in the video below. WW comes as a standard galvanized steel or coated steel. If you are considering using WW, you will want to go with the coated steel to prolong the life of the wire and your cover.

The main advantages of using WW are:

  • It does no pinch or bind the material it secures
  • It can be formed to the top of curved bows
  • It can be secured to any structural members
  • It can be used to splice Poly
  • It can be removed and installed multiple times
  • It can hold any flexible material or combination of materials from 2 to 20 mil think

How does WW hold up in extreme weather conditions?

In the video below, Dr. Nate Storey from Bright AgroTech explains his success with WW in harsh weather conditions. He states that his covers have survived 60-70 mph winds, and then shows his cover withstanding a heavy load of snow. He says that for his needs WW has worked perfect, and also agrees that it is essential that you get the coated version if you plan on using it. WW may be the cheapest and potentially the best option for the scale of your greenhouse, but in my opinion Poly Lock fasteners outperform WW.

Video Source: Bright AgroTech

In my opinion, Poly Lock fasteners are easier to work with and are well worth the investment. Check out Agra Lock from Agra Tech Inc. It establishes contact with three points of the cover, which is 50% more than WW creating a strong weather tight seal without pinching or weakening the material. It can also be easily installed or removed by hand. Below is a video of Forever Flowing demonstrating the installation process:

Video Source: Forever Flowering

Agra Lock Seal- Photo Credit

The greatest difference between WW and a Poly Lock fastener like Agra Lock is that Agra Lock blocks the sun’s UV rays from beating down on the critical holding points. Since UV rays are what degrade poly, this “self-shading” quality can substantially increasing the lifespan of the greenhouse cover. Not to mention, dirt and debris often get caught in the WW channel which can also damage the cover.

Covering your greenhouse can get expensive and it may make sense to go with the cheapest option for securing that covering. Though WW has its list of advantages, I have seen long term cost savings by going with a Poly Lock fastener like Agra Lock. The less you have to replace your covering the more you save in material and the labor to install it.

FYI- If you’re working with a backyard do-it-yourself PVC hoop house then you might want to look into PVC snap clamps. These are used to fasten greenhouse plastic, bird netting or shade cloth to PVC frames. They easily “snap” over PVC pipe to keep the cover from blowing away. Usually these clamps are spaced out about a foot apart from each other, so they are not meant to create a strong seal, but they could potentially be all that you need for the scale of your project. WARNING: PVC will prematurely degrade polyethylene, this would only be a option for small scale GH.

Do you have any experience with this topic? What type of Poly-fastener do you use? In your opinion what is the best fastener on the market? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.


6 thoughts on “Wiggle Wire vs. Poly Lock”

  1. agra lock shields the poly from the sun but the sun also heats the aluminum to a very high temperature 😉 You can use white polyester webbing in the wiggle wire channel to protect the poly from direct sun.

    1. Hex,

      Thank you for the comment, and great idea with the polyester webbing. I believe that the real threat to polyethylene is the sun’s ultraviolet rays and not so much actual heat. The UV rays are what damages poly. Agra Lock protects the contact points by blocking the UV rays. If we can shade the contact points of the wiggle wire with polyester webbing, that should help increase the life of the cover.


  2. I wouldn’t recommend using anything pvc with poly. I’m not sure if the benefit of poly covered ww outstrips the detriment of the adverse chemical reaction with poly or not. Perhaps… If you are going to use cheap construction plastic you will only get one season out of it so then I could see using pvc clips. Otherwise no. I have not used agra lock. When I talked to them they didn’t want to sell me anything under about 600 feet so it was a no go. I can say that ww is far superior to the old system on my hoops that uses 1/4 20 bolts and fender washers with a pair of aluminum splines. When I can afford to change it out I’m doing it. I installed ww around the bottom yesterday. It was my first time using ww and I was so happy that I almost cried. So much better than pinching the poly between two boards. I wish I had ww to put poly up on my front porch. I could trade it out for shade cloth in the spring to keep out mosquitoes. So cool. Why would I ever screw around with stapling the stuff up again?

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: